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CHIPS Articles: Navy Cyber Commanders: Partnership Key to Digital Fight

Navy Cyber Commanders: Partnership Key to Digital Fight
By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Danian Douglas, Defense Media Activity - April 6, 2017
NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. (NNS) -- Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard cyber and information warfare command leaders discussed the state of cyber operations across the sea services during the annual Sea, Air & Space (SAS) exposition in National Harbor, Maryland, April 4.

This year's SAS features more than 200 exhibitors, global defense and maritime industry exhibits displaying the latest in technology and equipment and U.S and international military and defense leaders.

Building on the previous day's topics of partnerships between allies, and military and industry-related organizations, the Cyber Operations at Sea panel echoed the broader need for cooperation.

"More and more, I see the value of industry rising up as the absolute key partner moving forward," said Vice Adm. Michael Gilday, commander, U.S. Fleet Cyber Command/10th Fleet (FCC/C10F). "Understanding what is going on in industry in terms of how you're dealing with those adversaries-and likewise, you're understanding how we're dealing with those same adversaries-can be pretty powerful if we become more transparent and work to mature that partnership along the threat line."

Gilday said the key to both mounting successful defense and taking a proactive approach to cyber warfare is the speed of innovation, which he said changes daily.

"Better 'mouse traps' are being produced ... and industry is solving problems in legacy networks across our country that look a lot like the same problems we have within the dot-mil [domain]," Gilday said. "They are very similar networks, similar adversaries, similar problems. That's why I've come to view industry as a critical partner in helping us in cyber, in the electromagnetic spectrum and in space."

Panel moderator Vice Adm. Jan Tighe, deputy chief of naval operations for information warfare/director of naval intelligence, presented the Navy's broad view of the future of global warfare.

"Clearly, we're not going to fight alone," Tighe said. "If cyber's going to be a part of that, all the partners need to be able to share information and fight together in the domain of cyberspace."

Tighe said she is well aware that the Navy's network infrastructure, cyber capabilities and cyber resiliency are essential pieces of that warfighting capability. Nevertheless, she said, the Navy's success still comes down to its people.

"Our capabilities principally reside in our humans, so we equip our cyber warriors with tools," she said. "How we define capacity in cyberspace has a lot to do with the human capacity that we have."

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